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Home » The Power to Heal: Sister Mary Agnes Dombroski (Transcript)

The Power to Heal: Sister Mary Agnes Dombroski (Transcript)

Full text of Sister Mary Agnes Dombroski’s talk: “The Power to Heal” at TEDxPiscataquaRiver conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:



Thank you.

In the early 1980s, when I was a young teenager, I used to ask myself two questions. I used to like to go for long hikes and think, probably not a normal teenage activity but I did.

And the first question was: what is the purpose of my life? And the second question was, am I going to make a difference?

Now, the answer to the first question over the years of my teenage years, I came to in kind of a logical way and I would think about, okay my origin is God, he created me and my goal is God because I want to be with him forever in heaven and so that kind of led to my following a call to become a sister, as you can see.

So, that actually was easier for me of the two questions.

The second question, am I going to make a difference? I found that one much harder and I didn’t have any answer. By the time I was a young adult entering the convent and what I really discovered was really it’s a question that’s answered every single day based on how I respond to what’s going on around me, to the person in front of me, that’s how I make a difference in very small little ways every single day.

Now, fast-forward 10 years, early 90s now, I am sent by my religious community to St. Charles Children’s Home in Rochester to become a childcare worker. It was really difficult for me, partially because I had absolutely no experience working with children and in fact, when I was a teenager, I didn’t even babysit.

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